Tuesday Theme Talk: Death Resulting from Alcohol Abuse

On Tuesdays, I’ll try to linkup great blogs, articles, and resources that can be of help to you in your quest for the prevention of underage and all-age alcohol abuse. Each week will have a theme. This week, the theme is Death Resulting from Alcohol Abuse. Tuesday Theme Talk will be referred to as TTT throughout the rest of the post. 🙂

TTT’s Website of the Week: MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

MADD is a great resource for anyone looking to get involved with prevention actions against alcohol abuse and for those looking for sobering stories about the realities of the consequences of alcohol abuse.

TTT’s Article with the Most Impact: ‘Death by Alcohol’ Warns of College Binge Drinking Risks

This is the sad story of Sam Spady who, at 19, died from binge drinking while at a fraternity party.

TTT’s Show Me the Numbers: Teen Alcohol Related Death Statistics

How crazy is it that in the U.S., every45 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related accident? That has GOT to stop!

TTT’s Something to Think About Article: Most Teen Drinking Deaths Aren’t Traffic Related

In addition to traffic deaths, teen alcohol-related deaths also include homicide, suicide, alcohol poisoning, and other causes.

I hope you’ll really read and absorb these words and take these websites and articles to heart. Teenage alcohol-related death is completely avoidable. Help to make it history!!

 

 

The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain

It is fairly common knowledge that alcohol has an effect on a person’s behavior. After 1 to several drinks, your speech might be slurred, you might feel sleepy, your face may become flushed…Clearly alcohol is affecting your body in some way. For adults who drink casually (1 or 2 drinks socially every now and then) these behavioral and bodily effects may not be a problem long-term. However, for those who binge drink or who drink heavily often, alcohol can have a direct effect on the brain and its development–especially in growing brains, namely the brains of teens, children, and babies whose mothers drank heavily while pregnant. The human brain continues to actively develop through the a person’s early 20s. Continued, heavy alcohol abuse throughout pregnancy or childhood and teenage years can actively impair proper brain development.

The Effects of Alcohol on a Teenage Brain:

>> Long-term averse effects on motor skills, memory, coordination, learning ability, and thinking

>> Impaired equilibrium and coordination which can increase the chances of risky behavior that could result in death (namely, driving while under the influence)

>> Potential inhibition of the brain’s ability to completely generate cells in its normal renewal processes

>> Chance of blackouts

>> Because the brain’s impulse control systems become used to alcohol intake, there is an increased risk of developing alcoholism more quickly in life with continued heavy drinking

You might be thinking as a teen, “Well, I’ll just keep my alcohol consumption low. One to two drinks on the weekends won’t hurt, right?” It just may. MADD.org stresses that “teens who drink half as much as adults” can still develop the negative effects listed above.

Next time you’re considering drinking at a party or indulging alone, think about what the alcohol is potentially doing to your developing brain and body!

Sources:

>> National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

>> The Effects of Alcohol on a Teen’s Body

>> Some Negative Effects of Alcohol on Brain Function

>> MADD: Alcohol and the Teen Brain

Weekend Fun Without the Alcohol

Many teens engage in underage drinking because it is seen as “fun”, “something to do at parties”, “something to do with friends”. While all of those things may be true to some degree, the plain fact is: underage drinking is illegal. On top of that, heavy drinking among teens carries an even greater risk for things like brain damage and developmental difficulties. Besides, if all you can think to do with your friends is party and drink on the weekends or after school, you’re not being very creative.

Hmm, I don’t know…there are about a bazillion things you could do to have fun on the weekends WITHOUT resorting to underage drinking. Here are a few:

1. Get together with your friends and have a video game tournament with some co-op console or PC game.

2. Go on a hike.

3. Play an outdoor sport like Ultimate Frisbee or Bocci.

4. Go to the movies.

5. Have a party, but instead of drinking to pass the time, spend it talking with your friends or playing games together.

6. Take up a new hobby that interests you and your group like pottery classes or archery.

7. Spend time volunteering in your community with something like Habitat for Humanity or a local soup kitchen.

8. Read a book.

9. Have a movie marathon and bring fun snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

10. Go to the pool and have some fun in the sun.

If I can come up with ten fun things, I’m sure you and your friends could come with with dozens and dozens more! Get out there and have some summer fun without the booze (and the brain damage and other health risks…).

Happy Sunday!

Study Finds Link Between Bullying and Alcohol Abuse

A 2012 study at the University of Cincinnati found “that both school bullies and their victims are likely to abuse alcohol after a bullying episode.” (source) The analysis from the data taken in this study showed that 38% of the students involved in the sample were involved in some sort of violent victimization in their schools. This violent victimization was linked with increased heavy drinking in these students.

Why?

Many teens who are bullied are not involved in positive activities in their community or school or they are not as active in those past times. As well, those who bully and who are bullied often seek to escape the pressures and stress of their lives by abusing alcohol.

More information can be found in the original article here. I encourage you to read it! It was a very enlightening study!

Cobb Alcohol Task Force’s Real Proof Campaign

I stumbled across the Cobb Alcohol Task Force website today and was very impressed by their Real Proof Campaign. The RPC is dedicated to presenting real stories and real facts about teen alcohol abuse and they have some very informative videos, stories, and important information to share with parents and teens alike. Below is one of their videos! Be sure to check them out! They have many great resources.

Happy Friday! Make wise choices over the weekend!

MADD: A Great Resource for Prevention

MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is an incredible resource for those interested in the prevention of alcohol abuse. Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, MADD works tirelessly to protect families from drunk drivers and underage drinking (source). If you’re looking for a non-profit organization to support or contribute to, this is definitely one to consider. Here are some direct links to great resources on MADD’s main site:

>> About MADD

>> Victims’ Stories

>> Get Involved

>> Donate